Department of History
Understanding the Past to Shape the Future.
Welcome to the History Department at FSU.
As an FSU History student, you will learn how the world works. There is no understanding the present without understanding its origins in the past.
What do we do?
Through research, we seek an improved and more accurate understanding of the past.
Through reading, reflection, and debate, we develop new methods for understanding the past.
Through lectures and seminars, we share our findings with students and colleagues.
Through our public speaking and publishing, we bring these narratives to wider audiences.
Together, we are shaping the way history is understood today and practiced tomorrow.
As an undergraduate you will
- Select a broad range of courses covering most of the globe, most periods of human history, and most areas of human experience (gender, politics, economics, sexuality, law, war, etc.);
- Learn to do history: Frame a question. Seek out and evaluate sources. Interpret evidence. Craft a persuasive argument. Convey your findings across multiple media; and
- Acquire crucial skills employers seek and graduate schools require, particularly the ability to write clearly and persuasively.
As a graduate student you will
- Develop deep subject knowledge - through a focused curriculum;
- Learn the scholarly conventions of the modern historical profession - through research-oriented seminars;
- Participate in formal training courses preparing you for future employment as a professional historian; and
- Develop the skills to teach history at the college and university level - through coursework and extensive in-class experience.
Del Herman is an FSU alumnus who is currently teaching in an Orange county elementary school as part of the Teach for America program. Del graduated from FSU in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and History and served as a resident assistant (RA) for three years. Del hadn’t planned on teaching third graders during a pandemic, but through this experience, he’s found his unsuspected passion for K-12 education.
What is Teach for America?
I went on the job market during the 2009-2010 academic year. That spring, I turned thirty and was in what seemed like a never-ending process of dissertation writing. Questions about when I would finish school and get a real job—from parents, friends, and acquaintances outside of academia—were mounting. This only added to the pressure of a rough job market and the nagging thought that I may not get a full-time position.
What do you tend to think of when you think of a history major? Archives? Libraries? Museums? Yes, but also no. The skills developed in the study of history are so flexible you can apply them almost anywhere. As a student of history, you’re taught to be constantly curious, to look for patterns, and to think of the big picture. An understanding of history and the skills related to historical study are transferable and needed in any career!